MarTech Interview with Johanna Bauman, Chief Marketing Officer at PubMatic

“Programmatic advertising is becoming a key driver of monetization for publishers across devices, with mobile apps and OTT publishers increasingly embracing programmatic strategies.”

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My Journey in Tech

Hi Johanna. Tell us about your journey into Marketing Technology and how you arrived at PubMatic. 

I am a data-driven marketer at heart, and the tech industry gives me the opportunity to marry the analytical and artistic sides of my brain in order to tell engaging stories about our products and services. There are few industries as fast-paced and dynamic as programmatic—which was literally built on real-time insights—and I am constantly challenged and excited by its evolution.

My career in tech began on the Product Marketing side, where I became intimately familiar not only with the products being developed but also the specific pain points of the customers that we were looking to address. Taking this customer-centric view has always been central to my Marketing philosophy.

I joined PubMatic three and a half years ago and one of the first things I learned, and something that has kept me here, is the focus on the customer. Our purpose as a company is to deliver results—monetization to publishers and ROI to advertisers—and I relished the opportunity to build Marketing strategies that supported this essential goal.

How did you successfully transition from your previous roles, both at PubMatic and elsewhere, to join the C-suite as CMO? 

My career path has involved many twists and turns, and at each step taught me something about myself and the environments and teams I want to be a part of. I have had experience both in Product Marketing and, most recently at PubMatic, in global corporate and brand marketing functions. These, along with an educational foundation in Marketing and Strategy and a strong network of mentors and champions, have prepared me for the C-suite.

At PubMatic, I have the pleasure of working with one of the best Marketing teams in the business. By relying on the expertise from a diverse group of professionals from around the world that are each at the top of their fields, we are able to execute at the highest levels.

In the modern age of Mobile-First Advertising, how does PubMatic programmatically deliver its promises to meet Omnichannel Advertising needs?

At PubMatic, over 50% of our business comes from mobile devices. We have seen firsthand how consumer behavior has driven trends in digital advertising and pride ourselves on being at the forefront of this evolution. Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in growing the teams and technology that will enable us to support our customers as they expand their Omnichannel footprints into Mobile app, Video and OTT/CTV.

As the CMO of a leading AdTech company, what unique challenges do you forecast for the Programmatic Marketplace? How do you prepare for these challenges?

The programmatic ecosystem is at an inflection point. Changing consumer demands, the emergence of global regulation and moves from the walled gardens around privacy and identity are converging into an environment with many unknowns. Publishers are uncertain how their programmatic monetization can be maintained amidst this change, while buyers are seeking to understand how they can continue to get the highest ROI from their digital ad spend.

As a profitable company with over 13 years of innovation experience, PubMatic is in a unique position to educate the market about these changes and what they mean for our customers. We are active in many of the industry organizations that are working to develop solutions to the industry’s challenges, with board seats on the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and, the community of ad tech leaders building open-source header bidding solutions. Plus, we produce educational events, such as our global PubAcademy series, to serve as a forum where industry leaders can come together to share knowledge about the trends impacting our businesses.

At the same time, PubMatic investing in innovative solutions to help our customers navigate the evolving landscape and achieve success. Our Identity Hub, for example, was recently launched to provide an ID-agnostic solution for audience addressability, which is more important than ever following Google’s announcement earlier this year about its plans to deprecate the third-party cookie.

As Chief Marketing Officer, it is my responsibility to ensure we communicate and evangelize the value propositions of our solutions to our customers and prospects as well as to the industry at large.

Team Building and Customer Acquisition

What new markets and user-groups are you targeting in 2020?

2020 is an exciting time for AdTech. Programmatic advertising is becoming a key driver of monetization for publishers across devices, with mobile apps and OTT publishers increasingly embracing programmatic strategies. PubMatic has been investing heavily in building solutions for and expanding our footprint with premium Omnichannel publishers.

At the same time, advertisers and agencies have been begun evaluating the programmatic supply chain and executing supply path optimization (SPO) strategies to ensure they are leveraging the most efficient and effective path to supply. As buyers consolidate spend on fewer sell-side platforms, we understand that delivering advertising ROI is key to ensuring we can provide superior revenue to our publishers.

Tell us about your Customer Experience goals and how you deliver to your user groups.

Putting the customer first is one of PubMatic’s core values and is central to how we operate on a daily basis. We leverage Net Promoter Score surveys to gauge customer satisfaction levels and identify areas of improvement so we can continue to level up our game. As a Marketing team, we continue to explore new ways to engage and involve our customers.

Which Marketing and Sales technologies do you leverage at PubMatic?

PubMatic employs a robust Marketing tech stack to help us both communicate effectively to our customers and evaluate the effectiveness of our marketing programs. We use Salesforce as our CRM, and have tools for Marketing Automation, Account-Based Marketing, and a CMS.

Additionally, as many of our customers use our products on a self-serve basis, we have built a Community portal that empowers our clients with educational content and technical documentation.

What special skills and abilities do you seek in your team members/new hires, when you’re building a new product from scratch, or expanding to a new market? 

One of the most important skills I look for in my team members is storytelling. As a B2B Marketing team, it is our responsibility to distill complex technological solutions into engaging value propositions that speak directly to the needs of our clients.

Some of our customers are highly savvy when it comes to programmatic, while others are completely new to the concepts. It is important that marketers on my team are able to segment and tailor our messages to these different audiences.

Which superhero/heroine exemplifies your personality at work and at home?

I am both a newly minted C-level executive and the mother of two small children (the youngest just six months old). In these two roles, I am constantly being pulled in multiple directions. Mrs. Incredible of The Incredibles—who has superhuman elasticity—exemplifies the role of many working mothers I know.

How do you inspire your team to work with technology

As tech marketers, it is imperative that my team up to speed with the latest tools and solutions. We are constantly evaluating new technologies that will improve the efficiency of our internal operations and the effectiveness of our Marketing programs.

Thank you, Johanna! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Johanna Bauman is a seasoned marketer and business strategist with a track record of driving successful B2B marketing programs for technology companies. She joined PubMatic in 2016 as Senior Director, and later Vice President of Marketing Communications where she redefined the corporate narrative and executed global marketing programs that strengthened the PubMatic brand. In her role as Chief Marketing Officer, Johanna is responsible for all aspects of corporate marketing strategy, product marketing and sales enablement, brand development, events and communications across all regions.

Prior to joining PubMatic, Johanna led product marketing at CPXi, where she oversaw product development and go-to-market strategies across the company’s tech and media divisions. She has held several positions in product marketing, development, and events across the technology and non-profit sectors, including Infogroup, a leading data and marketing solutions company, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

pubmatic LOGOPubMatic is a digital advertising technology company for premium content creators. The PubMatic platform empowers independent app developers and publishers to control and maximize their digital advertising businesses. PubMatic’s publisher-centric approach enables advertisers to maximize ROI by reaching and engaging their target audiences in brand-safe, premium environments across ad formats and devices. Since 2006, PubMatic has created an efficient, global infrastructure and remains at the forefront of programmatic innovation. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, PubMatic operates 13 offices and nine data centers worldwide.